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Sports chatter: Them’s the breaks for Werth, Nationals

Junior Seau's family has second thoughts; baseball's Nationals get rough ride.
Junior Seau dead suicideEnlarge
Junior Seau takes part in the Madden NFL 10 Pigskiin Pro-Am on Xbox 360 event on July 24, 2009 in Malibu, California. (Frazer Harrison/AFP/Getty Images)

Need to know: 

Junior Seau’s family is consulting with Samoan elders before donating the dead football player’s brain for scientific research, The Associated Press reported.

Seau died last week of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest at age 43. Seau was a hard-hitting linebacker for the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots.

Most media speculated Seau wanted his brain studied after his death, what ex-Chicago Bears’ safety Dave Duerson's suicide note said after he killed himself last February.

However, the Seau family is taking a much-deserved (and probably wise) pause.

“They really want to do everything right,” San Diego Chargers chaplain Shawn Mitchell told the AP.

Want to know: 

Can the Washington Nationals please get a break? No, not the kind suffered by star Jayson Werth, who broke his wrist in Sunday night’s 9-3 loss to Philadelphia.

The Nationals expect their team leader to miss several months, the Washington Post said.

This was the same game Philadelphia pitcher Cole Hamels admitted plunking young star Bryce Harper. When a pitcher intentionally hits a batter, the umpire normally ejects him from the game, but that didn’t happen to Hamels.

Everything was going so well for the long-suffering Nationals, who are 18-10 and first place in the National League East. In fact, during the first inning, the 19-year-old rookie sensation Harper stole home.

Now they’ll soldier on without a clubhouse leader in Werth, and a smarting Harper.

Dull but important:

John Marinatto quit this morning as commissioner of the Big East, the American college sports conference announced.

The Big East was among the leading conferences in the NCAA, the organization that oversees college sports.

However, the Big East is undergoing significant change after three of its top schools (Pitt, Syracuse and West Virginia) decided they are leaving for bigger TV contracts and more money elsewhere.

It was Marinatto who added Boise State (Idaho), San Diego State, Southern Methodist (Texas), Central Florida, Houston, Memphis, Texas and Navy, ESPN reported.

So-called Super Conferences are a growing trend in the NCAA, and without some of its flagship, founding members it appears the Big East is losing ground in the multi-billion business of US college sports.

Just because:

The Baltimore Orioles’ Chris Davis experienced everything in his team’s 9-6 win over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday night. 

He went 0-for-8 at the plate, but then pitched two scoreless innings for the win. How? Well, the game took a little more than six hours and needed 17 innings. The last player to go 0-for-8 and earn a win was Rube Waddell on July 4, 1905. Waddell and the Philadelphia A’s beat Cy Young and Boston in 20 innings.

Waddell is in the Hall of Fame and Young, well, he has that pitching award named after him.

Strange but true:

Tim Tebow returning punts? Almost.

The New York Daily News reported today that the New York Jets would use their new backup quarterback on special teams this season. Exactly how and how often is still a closely guarded secret, as is Tebow’s role on offense.

The Jets said earlier that they would use Tebow in a variety of options, trying to avoid the controversy that led to Tebow’s rise (and fall from grace?) in Denver.

Around the world:

After signing a $240-million contract with baseball’s Los Angeles Angels, Albert Pujols hit his first home run this season in Sunday's 4-3 win over Toronto. It was the longest drought of his career. … The National Hockey League’s New Jersey Devils beat Philadelphia on Sunday, and are a win away from advancing into the next round of the playoffs. Goalie Martin Brodeur celebrated his 40th birthday with the win. He’s the first NHL goalie to play in the playoffs as a teenager and at age 40. … Yes, that was Justin Bieber you saw in the ring after Floyd Mayweather beat Miguel Cotto. … Swimmer Michael Phelps told 60 Minutes on Sunday he’ll retire after the London Olympics. He needs two more medals to break the career record held by Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina, who won 18 from 1956-64. … Speaking of London, organizers are trying to understand how a reporter for The Sun newspaper managed to smuggle a fake bomb into Olympic Park.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/world-at-play/sports-chatter-them-s-the-breaks-werth-nationals